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Bertil Ottertun

A possibility for the keyboard player….

April 7, 2013 at 12:28 AM

You might already have noticed a new type of “sound imaging" by laser technique created by vibrations and movements of an ordinary violin bow ("o-bow"):

Here is a commentary to get a proportion of the possibilities:

I think this also could bee a "hot topic" at

The violin is an instrument that requires a lot to learn, and also thereafter when you want to create different musical expression. It is not only the fingers on the left hand on the fingerboard. You have to develop a master bowing - which can be quite difficult.
There are synths with sampled string sounds but it is difficult to reproduce varieties in the violin sound that emanate from the bow movement and vibration.

But now Dylan Menziez at De Montfort University in Leicester UK has developed an optical sensor that reads the movements and controls the sound of a synthesizer by adding effects from the bow movements, pressure and vibration.

The optical sensor is positioned in a hollow cylinder of soft copper holding the bow in place. The sensor reads the bow speed, angle and position. The design and the software to control the synth are patent-pending. The name of the new "instrument" will be O-Bow in the music business.

Author: Bertil Ottertun, Gothenburg (SWEDEN)

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